Month: October 2021

Quantifying Collective Identity Online From Self-defining Hashtags

Alexander T. J. Barron, Johan Bollen

Mass communication over social media can drive rapid changes in our sense of collective identity. Hashtags in particular have acted as powerful social coordinators[1], playing a key role in organizing social movements like the Gezi park protests, Occupy Wall Street, #metoo, and #blacklivesmatter[2, 3, 4]. Here we quantify collective identity from the use of hashtags as self-labels in over 85,000 actively-maintained Twitter user profiles spanning 2017-2019. Collective identities emerge from a graph model of individuals’ overlapping self-labels, producing a hierarchy of graph clusters. Each cluster is bound together and characterized semantically by specific hashtags key to its formation. We define and apply two information-theoretic measures to quantify the strength of identities in the hierarchy. First we measure collective identity coherence to determine how integrated any identity is from local to global scales. Second, we consider the conspicuousness of any identity given its vocabulary versus the global identity map. Our work reveals a rich landscape of online identity emerging from the hierarchical alignment of uncoordinated self-labeling actions.

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NetSciX 2022 – International School and Conference on Network Science

8-11 February 2022
Porto, Portugal

NetSci-X, the Network Science Society‘s signature winter conference, will visit Porto, Portugal in 2022. Bringing together leading researchers and innovators, NetSci-X 2022 will connect the Portuguese culture of innovation and hospitality with the novel perspectives of Network Science.

NetSci-X extends the popular NetSci conference series to provide an additional forum for a growing community of academics and practitioners working on networks. This is the first NetSci conference held in Portugal. The conference fosters interdisciplinary communication and collaboration in network science research across computer and information sciences, physics, mathematics, statistics, the life sciences, neuroscience, environmental sciences, social sciences, finance and business, arts and design.

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Winter Workshop on Complex Systems 2022

The Winter Workshop on Complex Systems is a one-week workshop where young researchers from all over the world gather together for discussing about complex systems.

The primary focus of the workshop is for participants to engage into novel research projects.

This is the 7th edition of the WWCS and it will be held in East of France from January 24th to January 28th 2022. Previously it was held in Brussels, Madrid, Petnica, Utrecht, Zakopane, and Charmey.

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Summer School: Mathematics of Large Networks

The Mathematics of Large Networks Summer School focuses on discrete structures and their limits. It’ll take place in Budapest (Hungary) May 30-June 3, 2022.

The Mathematics of Large Networks Summer School is part of the Large networks and their limits (2022 Spring) semester. This summer school aims to bring together mathematicians and network scientists to foster the exchange of ideas between these two fields. During the school four minicourses will be given by distinguished researchers in graph theory and network science for students from both fields, who are interested in multidisciplinary approaches to networks. The main topics of the summer school include geometry of networks, dynamics on/of networks, higher order structures, network inference and applications.


Ginestra Bianconi (Queen Mary University of London)
Remco van der Hofstad (TU Eindhoven)
Renaud Lambiotte (University of Oxford)
Kavita Ramanan (Brown University)

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Social physics

Marko Jusup, Petter Holme, Kiyoshi Kanazawa, Misako Takayasu, Ivan Romic, Zhen Wang, Suncana Gecek, Tomislav Lipic, Boris Podobnik, Lin Wang, Wei Luo, Tin Klanjscek, Jingfang Fan, Stefano Boccaletti, Matjaz Perc
Recent decades have seen a rise in the use of physics-inspired or physics-like methods in attempts to resolve diverse societal problems. Such a rise is driven both by physicists venturing outside of their traditional domain of interest, but also by scientists from other domains who wish to mimic the enormous success of physics throughout the 19th and 20th century. Here, we dub the physics-inspired and physics-like work on societal problems “social physics”, and pay our respect to intellectual mavericks who nurtured the field to its maturity. We do so by comprehensively (but not exhaustively) reviewing the current state of the art. Starting with a set of topics that pertain to the modern way of living and factors that enable humankind’s prosperous existence, we discuss urban development and traffic, the functioning of financial markets, cooperation as a basis for civilised life, the structure of (social) networks, and the integration of intelligent machines in such networks. We then shift focus to a set of topics that explore potential threats to humanity. These include criminal behaviour, massive migrations, contagions, environmental problems, and finally climate change. The coverage of each topic is ended with ideas for future progress. Based on the number of ideas laid out, but also on the fact that the field is already too big for an exhaustive review despite our best efforts, we are forced to conclude that the future for social physics is bright. Physicists tackling societal problems are no longer a curiosity, but rather a force to be reckoned with, yet for reckoning to be truly productive, it is necessary to build dialog and mutual understanding with social scientists, environmental scientists, philosophers, and more.

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